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  1. Abstract Highly eccentric orbits are one of the major surprises of exoplanets relative to the solar system and indicate rich and tumultuous dynamical histories. One system of particular interest is Kepler-1656, which hosts a sub-Jovian planet with an eccentricity of 0.8. Sufficiently eccentric orbits will shrink in the semimajor axis due to tidal dissipation of orbital energy during periastron passage. Here our goal was to assess whether Kepler-1656b is currently undergoing such high-eccentricity migration, and to further understand the system’s origins and architecture. We confirm a second planet in the system with M c = 0.40 ± 0.09 M jup and P c = 1919 ± 27 days. We simulated the dynamical evolution of planet b in the presence of planet c and find a variety of possible outcomes for the system, such as tidal migration and engulfment. The system is consistent with an in situ dynamical origin of planet b followed by subsequent eccentric Kozai–Lidov perturbations that excite Kepler-1656b’s eccentricity gently, i.e., without initiating tidal migration. Thus, despite its high eccentricity, we find no evidence that planet b is or has migrated through the high-eccentricity channel. Finally, we predict the outer orbit to be mutually inclined in a nearlymore »perpendicular configuration with respect to the inner planet orbit based on the outcomes of our simulations and make observable predictions for the inner planet’s spin–orbit angle. Our methodology can be applied to other eccentric or tidally locked planets to constrain their origins, orbital configurations, and properties of a potential companion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The distribution of spin–orbit angles for systems with wide-separation, tidally detached exoplanets offers a unique constraint on the prevalence of dynamically violent planetary evolution histories. Tidally detached planets provide a relatively unbiased view of the primordial stellar obliquity distribution, as they cannot tidally realign within the system lifetime. We present the third result from our Stellar Obliquities in Long-period Exoplanet Systems (SOLES) survey: a measurement of the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect across two transits of the tidally detached warm Jupiter TOI-1478 b with the WIYN/NEID and Keck/HIRES spectrographs, revealing a sky-projected spin–orbit angleλ=6.25.5+5.9°. Combining this new measurement with the full set of archival obliquity measurements, including two previous constraints from the SOLES survey, we demonstrate that, in single-star systems, tidally detached warm Jupiters are preferentially more aligned than closer-orbiting hot Jupiters. This finding has two key implications: (1) planets in single-star systems tend to form within aligned protoplanetary disks, and (2) warm Jupiters form more quiescently than hot Jupiters, which, in single-star systems, are likely perturbed into a misaligned state through planet–planet interactions in the post-disk-dispersal phase. We also find that lower-mass Saturns span a wide range of spin–orbit angles, suggesting a prevalence of planet–planet scattering and/or secularmore »mechanisms in these systems.

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  3. Abstract We combine multiple campaigns of K2 photometry with precision radial velocity measurements from Keck-HIRES to measure the masses of three sub-Neptune-sized planets. We confirm the planetary nature of the massive sub-Neptune K2-182 b ( P b = 4.7 days, R b = 2.69 R ⊕ ) and derive refined parameters for K2-199 b and c ( P b = 3.2 days, R b = 1.73 R ⊕ and P c = 7.4 days, R c = 2.85 R ⊕ ). These planets provide valuable data points in the mass–radius plane, especially as TESS continues to reveal an increasingly diverse sample of sub-Neptunes. The moderately bright ( V = 12.0 mag) early K dwarf K2-182 (EPIC 211359660) was observed during K2 campaigns 5 and 18. We find that K2-182 b is potentially one of the densest sub-Neptunes known to date (20 ± 5 M ⊕ and 5.6 ± 1.4 g cm −3 ). The K5V dwarf K2-199 (EPIC 212779596; V = 12.3 mag), observed in K2 campaigns 6 and 17, hosts two recently confirmed planets. We refine the orbital and planetary parameters for K2-199 b and c by modeling both campaigns of K2 photometry and adding 12 Keck-HIRES measurements tomore »the existing radial velocity data set ( N = 33). We find that K2-199 b is likely rocky, at 6.9 ± 1.8 M ⊕ and 7.2 − 2.0 + 2.1 g cm −3 , and that K2-199 c has an intermediate density at 12.4 ± 2.3 M ⊕ and 2.9 − 0.6 + 0.7 g cm −3 . We contextualize these planets on the mass–radius plane, discuss a small but intriguing population of “superdense” sub-Neptunes ( R p < 3 R ⊕ , M p >20 M ⊕ ), and consider our prospects for the planets’ atmospheric characterization.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Abstract

    The Breakthrough Listen (BL) Initiative, as part of its larger mission, is performing the most thorough technosignature search of nearby stars. Additionally, BL is collaborating with scientists working on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to examine TESS Targets of Interest (TOIs) for technosignatures. Here, we present a 1–11 GHz radio technosignature search of 61 TESS TOIs that were in transit during their BL observation at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. We performed a narrowband Doppler drift search with a minimum S/N threshold of 10 across a drift rate range of ±4 Hz s−1with a resolution of 3 Hz. We removed radio frequency interference by comparing signals across cadences of target sources. After interference removal, there are no remaining events in our survey, and therefore no technosignature signals of interest detected in this work. This null result implies that atL,S,C, andXbands, fewer than 52%, 20%, 16%, and 15%, respectively, of TESS TOIs possess a transmitter with an equivalent isotropic radiated power greater than a few times 1014W.

  5. Abstract The aim of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is to find technologically capable life beyond Earth through their technosignatures. On 2019 April 29, the Breakthrough Listen SETI project observed Proxima Centauri with the Parkes ‘Murriyang’ radio telescope. These data contained a narrowband signal with characteristics broadly consistent with a technosignature near 982 MHz (‘blc1’). Here we present a procedure for the analysis of potential technosignatures, in the context of the ubiquity of human-generated radio interference, which we apply to blc1. Using this procedure, we find that blc1 is not an extraterrestrial technosignature, but rather an electronically drifting intermodulation product of local, time-varying interferers aligned with the observing cadence. We find dozens of instances of radio interference with similar morphologies to blc1 at frequencies harmonically related to common clock oscillators. These complex intermodulation products highlight the necessity for detailed follow-up of any signal of interest using a procedure such as the one outlined in this work.
  6. Abstract

    The detection of life beyond Earth is an ongoing scientific pursuit, with profound implications. One approach, known as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), seeks to find engineered signals (‘technosignatures’) that indicate the existence of technologically capable life beyond Earth. Here, we report on the detection of a narrowband signal of interest at ~982 MHz, recorded during observations towards Proxima Centauri with the Parkes Murriyang radio telescope. This signal, BLC1, has characteristics broadly consistent with hypothesized technosignatures and is one of the most compelling candidates to date. Analysis of BLC1—which we ultimately attribute to being an unusual but locally generated form of interference—is provided in a companion paper. Nevertheless, our observations of Proxima Centauri are a particularly sensitive search for radio technosignatures towards a stellar target.